Eddie Murphy Really Had Feet Phobia According to ‘Boomerang’ Director

The Eddie Murphy movie Boomerang opened in theaters July 1, 1992. 30 years ago, it showed a new side of Murphy as a romantic leading man, and featured scene stealing supporting actors like Martin Lawrence and Halle Berry. Surprisingly, this week marks the first time the film has been available on Blu-ray. But, that Blu-ray is a good chance to learn more about the film, and its running gag about feet.

'Boomerang': Eddie Murphy sits on the arm of a sofa talking to Robin Given's, whose feet are a relief to him
Robin Givens and Eddie Murphy | Paramount Pictures

The Blu-ray features deleted scenes and director Reginald Hudlin’s audio commentary throughout the film. The commentary must have been recorded for the 10th anniversary in 2002, because he mentions a Marcus Miller album, M2, being released a year prior. Hudlin also reveals Boomerang got Murphy’s feet phobia right. 

Eddie Murphy admitted his feet phobia to ‘Boomerang’ director Reginald Hudlin

One of the running gags in Boomerang is that whenever Marcus (Murphy) sleeps with someone, he waits until his partner is asleep and inspects their feet. He dumps one woman because her feet are gross. Hudlin said he added that to the script, but found out Murphy totally related. 

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“When I pitched it to Eddie, Eddie was immediately enthusiastic about the idea,” Hudlin said. “He goes, ‘Hey, how’d you know that about me?’ I said, why would you think I know that? Of course, I didn’t know. 

Eddie Murphy’s feet phobia serves a purpose in ‘Boomerang’

The feet phobia isn’t just a joke in Boomerang, although it is funny. Hudlin explained how Marcus’s relationship with feet illustrates his character and allows Murphy to convey growth.

“The feet gag was my idea. I knew I needed a device to show the arc of Eddie’s growth as a character. A joke that some of my friends we would all talk about is a guy who’s so picky that he looks at their back teeth. So it’s like how do we define that Eddie’s a back teeth kind of guy. So I came upon the idea of showing feet, that no matter how beautiful this woman is, if she has messed up feet, he’s out of there. And then later, he falls in love with Robin because she has perfect feet. But then we know he’s evolved into a higher level of consciousness when he doesn’t even notice what Halle’s feet look like.

Can you spot this continuity error with feet?

Later in the commentary, Hudlin admits there is a continuity error in one of the all-important foot scenes. When Marcus is in bed with Jacqueline (Robin Givens), there is a cut between her feet under the covers and when he removes the covers. If you didn’t catch it, Hudlin explains why they don’t match. 

“There’s a horrid continuity error here,” Hudlin said. “So we see the angle of her legs here. Then there’s this massive cheat right there. Her feet are shooting straight up. That’s impossible. I kept thinking that it was going to be in Premiere magazine, that Gaffe Squad section. Someone would go, ‘What happened with her feet?’”

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